01/10/2012 17:29 BST

Dragon's Den Star Duncan Bannatyne Suffers Suspected Heart Attack

TV entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne is recovering after being rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack.

The 63-year-old Dragons' Den star was in Darlington Memorial Hospital on Monday after he fell ill at the headquarters of his gym business in the town.

He was well enough to send messages from his bed to his 540,000-plus followers on Twitter, telling them:

And he followed it with: "Today was my first trip inside an Ambulance & with siren wailing. Hope it is the last. LoL"

Earlier a spokeswoman for the Bannatyne Group said: "Everyone at the company is very concerned and upset, but we know that Duncan is a very strong person and we are confident he will make a full recovery.

"Everyone wishes him well. We'd like to thank the quick and professional actions of the paramedics who attended to Duncan and thank the staff at the Memorial Hospital for his ongoing care."

Bannatyne, who lives on the exclusive Wynyard estate in the countryside north west of Middlesbrough, was born in Clydebank, Scotland and was raised in what he describes as "relatively modest circumstances".

His business interests now include health clubs, hotels, property, media and transport and he is best known as a tough-talking business angel on the BBC show Dragons' Den.

The former Royal Navy stoker began his empire with an ice cream van, rapidly expanding that business in tough competition before setting up a chain of care homes.

On his website he says he sold that for £26 million in 1996 and his children's nursery chain for £22m.

He has written five self-help books on becoming a success in business and managing money, was awarded an OBE for his charity works and is a vehement anti-smoker.

Bannatyne, who is a keen user of Twitter, tweeted this morning: "It is Monday so start the week on a positive note & stay positive".

Fellow Dragon Theo Paphitis said he had spoken to his friend in hospital and Bannatyne told him he did not think he had suffered a heart attack.

Paphitis tweeted: "In Scotland no mobile signal but managed to make contact with @DuncanBannatyne and he is well undergoing tests does not think heart attack!"

He added: "Speedy recovery we are missing you already".

His daughter Abi said he was in a stable condition.

She tweeted: "As news is starting to spread I can confirm my dad was taken into hospital late this morning, he is stable and that's all I can say for now."